Rough Earth Snake
Description: A small, slender, brown-snake with keeled scales and a pale belly. The head is generally darker brown than the body and some individuals, especially juveniles, may have a pale, light brown band on the neck. The adults average in size from 7-10 inches (18-25cm).
Natural History: This snake is secretive and fossorial. It is most frequent in wooded habitats with loose, sandy soil, and a good amount of ground cover. Typical habitats include pine forests and open hardwood forests. They are generally encountered when flipping over logs or other forest debris. Earth Worms are their primary food source.
Similar Species: There are several other small brown snakes that can resemble the Rough Earth Snake. Keeled scales help differentiate from the Smooth Earth Snake (Virginia valeriae). A tan/light brown belly helps differentiate from the Worm Snake (Carphophis amoenus) and Red-bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata).
Distribution: This snake is found in the coastal plains from Virginia to North Florida. Their range extends west to central Texas.
Contributed by Jake Zadik (2/24/2020)